Florida – The House and Senate on Friday released budget proposals that would top $87 billion for the state fiscal year that starts July 1.
The House proposal totals nearly $87.2 billion, while the Senate proposal came in at $87.3 billion — just shy of an $87.4 billion spending plan offered by Gov. Rick Scott. But while the bottom-line numbers are similar, the House and Senate in the coming weeks will have to bridge differences on key issues such as health-care spending, public-school funding and Scott’s request for $100 million to go to tourism marketing.
House and Senate appropriations subcommittees this week released budget outlines, which were incorporated into the overall spending plans released Friday. The House and Senate likely will make changes to the plans during the next two weeks, setting the stage for negotiations on a final budget before the legislative session is scheduled to end March 9.
Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, and Senate Appropriations Chairman Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, issued statements Friday focusing on parts of their budget that would increase funding for such things as education, land conservation, and pay raises for law-enforcement officers.
“From unprecedented per-student funding for our K-12 schools, to continuing historic investments in need-based student financial aid and setting aside funds for the permanent expansion of the Bright Futures scholarship, the Senate budget recognizes the link between education and our economy and the significant return for taxpayers when we invest in Florida’s future,” Negron said.